Mzansi Agriculture Talk

Agriculture

Alternative Ways of Growing Vegetables

Vertical farming has become a new norm of backyard farming. According to Silence Chiloane of the Agricultural Research Council, Vegetable and Ornaments Plants, households using a bag system can optimise yield per unit area.

“The bag is able to hold water for a longer me, without water and nutrients draining out of the soil” said Chiloane.

This small bag system when fully planted with Swiss chard/spinach can feed a family of four with a bunch of spinach every week.

To start, you will need a maize-meal bag (80, 50, 25 or 12.5kg bag), water soluble fertilizer that can provide multi feed and calcium nitrate, and seedlings.

“Growing medium, you can use sawdust, compost, topsoil mixed with kraal or chicken manure or soil with good drainage” Chiloane said.

The advantage of using a bag system to plant vegetable like spinach is that is conserves water and suppresses weeds so no weed control is needed, plant leaves are free from soil particles since they face upwards.

For more information, contact Silence Chiloane, Agricultural Research Council – Vegetable and

Ornamental Plants, ChiloaneS@arc.agric.za

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